Inside Asia Tours: Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos

Insider Experience: Behind The Scenes Water Puppetry

Take a look behind the scenes of one of Vietnam's most beloved art forms: Water puppetry.

Water puppetry is a tradition that dates back as far as the 11th century when it originated in the villages of the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. Rather than just catching a show, we will take you beneath the surface of this ancient art form, meeting with a puppet maker in his local workshop, painting a personalised puppet and learning the secrets of the performers, gaining deep insight into local craft and rural traditions.

As you step into the home of Mr. Liem, a passionate seventh-generation puppet maker and performer, receive an introduction to water puppetry, while touring his workshop where shelf after shelf is lined with wooden puppet parts in all shares and sizes.

Be entertained by a half-hour performance at a small theatre in his house, learning about the folklore and legends presented in the show and the significance of the performance itself. After the show, its time to get a little wet (optional!), joining with the puppeteers to learn basic techniques, using bamboo rods to move the puppets through the water. Returning to the workshop you will then have the opportunity to paint a traditional puppet, using a range of typical bright and shiny colours to create a one-of-a-kind marionette, all the while learning more about this local art form.

Insider Experience: Behind The Scenes Water Puppetry

located in Hanoi

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Interested in this Experience? It is included in this tour:

  • Take the family on an exploration of northern Vietnam, through vibrant cities, rural villages and dramatic landscapes, with fun and family-friendly experiences at every turn.

    Vietnam Young Family Explorer

    Lively cities, picturesque villages and dramatic landscapes - this Vietnamese young family exploration has it all. From a hands on puppet workshop and helping out with rice farming, to cycling ancient villages and boating through karst landscapes, connect with local culture in a way that is enjoyable and educational for both kids and adults.

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    Take the family on an exploration of northern Vietnam, through vibrant cities, rural villages and dramatic landscapes, with fun and family-friendly experiences at every turn.

Other suggested Performing arts

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    Phare Circus

    The Phare Circus is a fantastic social project with a troupe of world-class acrobats, who have taken their innovative performances all over the world.

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  • Cambodian shadow puppetry

    Cambodian shadow puppetry

    The Cambodian Living Arts organisation is dedicated to preserving traditional performing arts, including music, dance and shadow puppetry.

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  • Apsara dances

    Apsara dances

    The Angkor era is brought to life in the form of traditional aspara dances, the pinnacle of Cambodian performing arts.

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